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So all ere day-spring, under conscious night,
Secret they finish'd, and in order set,
With silent circumspection unespy'd.

Now when fair morn orient in Heav'n appear’d,
Up rose the victor Angels, and to arms 525
The matin trumpet sung: in arms they stood
Of golden panoply, refulgent host,
Soon banded; others from the dawning hills
Look'd round, and scouts each coast light-armed


Each quarter, to descry the distant foe,

530 Where


under conscious night,] 527. Of golden panoply, ) With Ovid. Met. XIII. 15.

golden armour from head to foot

completely arm'd. Panoply. Ilaquorum nox confcia sola eft. vaznia, Greck, armour at all points. Hume.


V. 113.

526. The trumpet sung :) A claf 528. others from the dawning fical expression. So Virg. Æn. bills] This epithet is usu

ally apply'd to the light, but here

very poetically to the bills, the Et tuba commissos medio canit ag- dawn first appearing over them, gere ludos.

and they seeming to bring the ris

ing day; as the evening itar is said To arms the matin trumpet sung : So likewise first to appear on bis bill. Taffo litterally the same, as Mr. top, VIII. 520. Thyer observes,

532. balt: ] Milton spells Quando à cantar la matutina it as the Italians do alto, but we tromba

commonly write it with an b like Comincia à l'arme.

the French and Germans. Gier. Lib. Cant. 11. St. 19.

533. - in

Where lodg'd, or whither fled, or if for fight,
In motion or in halt: him soon they met
Under spread enligns moving nigh, in slow
But firm battalion; back with speediest fail
Zophiel, of Cherubim the swiftest wing, 535
Came fly'ing, and in mid air aloud thus cry'd.

Arm, Warriors, arm for fight; the foe at hand,
Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit
This day; fear not his flight; fo thick a cloud
He comes, and settled in his face I see

540 Sad resolution and secure: let each



of God.

in slow

793. and clouds of foot in Paradise But firm battalion ; ] The reason Regain’d, III. 327. We have peof their being both a flow and ditum equitumque nubes in Livy, firm battalion is suggested a little Lib. s. and even nubem belli in afterwards. They were slow in Virgil, Æn. X. 809. and armodrawing their cannon, and firm in rum nubem in Statius, Theb. IV. order to conceal it, ver. 551. 535; Zophiel, In Hebrew the spy 541. Sad resolution and secure : ) Hume.

By fad here is meant fower and

sullen, as triftis in Latin and trifto 539. - fo thick a cloud

in Italian fignify.

Pearce. He comes, ] This metaphor is usual in all languages, and in al. Or pollibly it means no more than most all authors to express a great serious or in earnest, a sense fremultitude. We have it in Heb. quent in all our old authors. And XII. 1. Seeing we also are com. I remember a remarkable instance passed about with so great a cloud of of the use of the word in Lord witnesses &c. We have reo - Bacon's Advice to Villiers Duke of aw in Homer, Iliad. IV. 247: Buckingham; 66 But if it were nimbus peditum in Virgil, Æn. VII. “ an embassy of weight, concern

Q4 2


His adamantin coat gird well, and each
Fit well his helm, gripe fast his orbed shield,
Borne ev'n or high; for this day will pour down,

, If I conjecture ought, no drizling shower, 545 But rattling storm of arrows barb’d with fire.

So warn’d he them aware themselves, and soon In order, quit of all impediment; Instant without disturb they took alarm, And onward move imbattel'd: when behold

550 Not distant far with heavy pace the foe Approaching gross and huge, in hollow cube Training his devilish enginry, impal'd On every side with fhadowing squadrons deep, To hide the fraud. At interview both stood



ing affairs of state, choice was 541.

let each “ made of some fad person of His adamantin coat gird well, and “ known judgment, wisdom and each

experience, and not of a young Fit well his belm, gripe fcft bis

man, not weighed in state mat orbed shield,] This is plainly “ters &c:" if fad there be not copied from Againemnon's direcfalse printed for staid or lage. So tions in Homer, Iliad. II. 382. it is used in Spenser for sober, grave, sedate. Fairy Queen, B. z. Ευ μεν τις δορυ θηξαθαι, ευ Cant. 2. St. 14.

rewolde Isaw &c. A fober fad, and comely cour His sharpend (pear let every Greteous dame,

cian wield, And every

Grecian fix his brazen and in other places.

hield, &c. Pope.

546. - barb'2

A while; but suddenly at head appear’d
Satan, and thus was heard commanding loud.

Vanguard, to right and left the front unfold;
That all may see who hate us, how we seek
Peace and composure, and with open

breast 560 Stand ready to receive them, if they like Our overture, and turn not back perverse; But that I doubt; however witness Heaven, Heav'n witness thou anon, while we discharge Freely our part; ye who appointed stand, 565 Do as you have in charge, and briefly touch What we propound, and loud that all may hear.

So fcoffing in ambiguous words, he scarce Had ended; when to right and left the front


barb'd with fire. ] note on ver. 399.

Bearded, headed with fire. Of the I knew one who used to think it
French barbe, and the Latin barba should be hollow tube: to which it
a beard.

may be objected that enginry, ma

chinæ, are the hollow tubes or guns 548. quit of all impediment;] themselves. Fortin. The carriages and baggage of an army were call'd in Latin impedi 553: Training ] Drawing in menta : and the good Angels are train, from the term, train of arsaid to be quit of all impediment in tillery. opposition to the others incumber'd with their heavy artillery.

568. So fcofing in ambiguous words,

&c.] We cannot pretend entirely 552. in bollow cube] Dr. to justify this punning scene : but Bentley reads square, but see my we should consider that there is




Divided, and to either flank retir’d:
Which to our eyes discover'd, new and strange,
A triple mounted row of pillars laid
On wheels (for like to pillars most they feemid,
Or hollow'd bodies made of oak or fir, 574
With branches lopt, in wood or mountain fell’d)
Brass, iron, stony mold, had not their mouths


very little of this kind of wit any in the 16th book of the Iliad. where in the poem but in this Æneas throws a spear at Meriones; place, and in this we may suppose and he artfully avoiding it, Æneas Milton to have sacrific'd to the jests upon his dancing, the Cretans taste of his times, when puns were (the countrymen of Meriones) bebetter relish'd than they are at ing famous dancers. A little afpresent in the learned world; and terwards in the fame book, Patroİ know not whether we are not clus kills Hector's charioteer, who grown too delicate and fastidious falls headlong from the chariot, in this particular. It is certain upon which Patroclus insults him the Ancients practic'd them more for several lines together upon his both in their conversation and in till in diving, and says that if he their writings; and Aristotle re was at sea, he might excelcommends them in his book of lent oifters. Milton's jests cannot Rhetoric, and likewise Cicero in be lower and more krivial than his treatise of Oratory; and if we these; but if he is like Homer in should condemn them absolutely, his faults, let it be i member'd we must condemn half of the good that he is like him in his beauties sayings of the greatest wits of too. And Mr. Thyer farther obGreece and Rome. They are less serves, that Milton is the less to proper indeed in serious works, be blam'd for this punning scene, and not at all becoming the ma- when one considers the characjesty of an epic poem; but our ters of the speakers, such kind author seems to have been betray'd of infulting wit being most peinto this excess in great measure culiar to proud contemptuous Spiby his love and admiration of Ho- rits. iner. For this account of the Angels jesting and infulting one 574. Or hollow'd bodies &c.] another is not unlike some pallages We must carefully preserve the pa


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